Internal exam

Definition of internal exam

internal exam

(in-TER-nul eg-ZAM)
A physical exam of the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and rectum. First, the vulva is checked for redness, swelling, sores, or other abnormalities. A speculum is then inserted into the vagina to widen it so the vagina and cervix can be checked for signs of disease. Cell samples may be taken for a Pap test or HPV test to screen for cervical cancer. The health care provider then inserts one or two lubricated, gloved fingers of one hand into the vagina and presses on the lower abdomen with the other hand to feel for lumps and check the size, shape, and position of the uterus and ovaries. The rectum may also be checked for lumps or abnormal areas. Also called pelvic exam.

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms